By Matthew Houghton, their son
September 26 marked the 60th wedding anniversary of Mildred and Gerald Houghton.
Gerald (Jerry/Homer in school) is a Vicksburg native and 1953 graduate of Vicksburg High School. Mildred (Millie) is from Fife Lake, Mich. and a graduate of Portage Central. Both were born in 1935.
They met in 1958 through mutual friends. Initially, they did not like each other but continued to run in the same crowd … eventually learning to tolerate one another. When the group started to break apart, they decided to get married. An interesting concept. They wed that same year.
Jerry served in the US Army and was honorably discharged in 1957. He then went to work at his father’s manufacturing business in Vicksburg, oddly named Houghton Manufacturing. He started as a machinist and retired in 1999 as the vice president.
Millie worked at Sears in downtown Kalamazoo as a bookkeeper and then at a drapery shop in Portage where she learned the art of custom-made draperies. In 1968 she started her own company, oddly named … Millie’s Draperies. She continued this until the early 80’s, with Jerry as the rod hanger. She then went to Western Michigan University and worked in the bookstore until people realized she had a talent for decorating. She ended up doing all the decorating at Burnham Hall. She retired in 1996.
Both enjoyed golfing at States Golf course and constant remodeling of their home on TU Ave. Later on, they got into woodworking and crafts. They winter at their second home in south Texas six months out of the year. Wherever they go they attract great people and have truly become just one entity, Mil-n-Jer.
They have two children, Susan (LaDue), who now resides in Apache Junction, Ariz., and Matthew, who lives in the country near in Scotts. They have two grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
No celebrations are planned as they want to have a quiet evening with family … but happy hour is always at 4 p.m.